France Sending Noriega Back To Panama

PARIS, Aug. 3 (UPI) — France is extraditing former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to his homeland, the government said Wednesday.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s office told Radio France Internationale the decree authorizing extradition was signed July 6, his office confirmed Wednesday.

Noriega’s lawyer, Yves Leberquier, said he would not contest the move since it would bring his client closer to his family. A court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8, Leberquier said.

Noriega ruled Panama from 1983 to 1989, when he was overthrown by a U.S. invasion. He was imprisoned in Miami for 20 years on drug trafficking charges and sent to France last year, where he was convicted of money laundering.

Panama has convicted him in absentia of murder and human rights violations.

A Panamanian prison has prepared a special cell for the 77-year-old Noriega, who has difficulty walking.

Principal Fired For Supremacist Views

NEW YORK, Aug. 3 (UPI) — New York’s Catholic Archdiocese said it has fired the principal of a school in the Bronx over revelation of his ties to a white supremacist group.

Frank Borzellieri, who once wrote that the rising number of blacks and Hispanics in the United States would lead to a new “Dark Age,” was relieved of his duties at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, WPIX-TV, New York, reported.

Borzellieri, 48, had served as principal at Our Lady of Mount Carmel since 2009.

The school has a predominantly black and Latino student population.

“Many of the opinions expressed by Mr. Borzellieri in his writings were found to be incompatible with the philosophy and practices of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, and with the Catholic schools throughout the archdiocese,” said a statement issued by the archdiocese Tuesday.

AIT Vehicle Involved In Road Death

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Aug. 3 (UPI) — The American Institute in Taiwan said Wednesday one of its official vehicles was involved in a traffic accident in Taipei in which a motorcyclist died.

AIT Director William A. Stanton was a passenger in the vehicle when the accident occurred Wednesday and was not injured, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported.

Officials said they suspect the motorcyclist was thrown into the path of the AIT vehicle after the motorcycle collided with a taxi. The cyclist was propelled into the center lane, where he was struck by a truck, officials said.

The American Institute in Taiwan is a non-profit, public corporation established by the U.S. government to serve its interests in Taiwan.

Dubai Fines Tourist For Insulting Prophet

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 3 (UPI) — A court in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has fined a British tourist for allegedly insulting Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Presiding Judge Rashid al-Sumairi imposed a fine of 5,000 Emirati dirhams ($1,360) on the 40-year-old defendant, identified only as A.G., Tuesday, the Gulf News reported.

H.H., a salesman at an electronics shop in the Mall of the Emirates, testified: “The Briton walked into the shop and greeted me in a non-Muslim way. I told him I am a Muslim and his way of greeting was inappropriate. Then I asked if I could help him in his purchases. Surprisingly, he asked me about my religion and where I came from.

“When I told him that I am from Pakistan, he started talking about the Taliban and war in Pakistan. He also said all Muslims are insane and fight and kill each other. He also said that Pakistan would dissolve soon. …He called me and my countrymen crazy.”

H.H. also said A.G. blasphemed the prophet and called him an “unpeaceful” person.

He said the tourist left, but he spotted him a week later and had him arrested.

Teacher, 80, Fired Over Bathroom Dispute

NEW YORK, Aug. 3 (UPI) — An 80-year-old New York City kindergarten teacher said she was fired for complaining about the long walk her class had to take to use the bathroom.

Lillie Leon detailed in a suit filed in Manhattan that every time one of her kindergarten students needed to go to the bathroom, she had to take the entire class along, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

The grandmother of four, who has taught for 34 years, asked that she be reassigned to a first-grade class since first-graders didn’t require supervision on bathroom breaks.

Instead, she was notified last week that she had lost her job at Public School 117 in Queens.

Leon filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court seeking to return to work for one more year before retiring.

She also has a suit pending against the city in federal court.

Prison Director Arrested In Riot Deaths

JUAREZ, Mexico, Aug. 3 (UPI) — The director of the Cereso prison in Juarez was arrested in the deaths of 17 people in a late July riot, Mexican officials said.

Lucio Cuevas Sanchez was detained on suspicion of illegal public service and of a crime committed within a prison, the El Paso Times reported Wednesday.

Seventeen inmates, including two U.S. citizens, died in a prison riot July 25. The armed battle between gangs at the Cereso prison was first reported as a breakout. Media reports at the time said some of the prisoners may have been wearing guard uniforms. Mexican federal police entered the facility to restore control, while Juarez police and the army closed off surrounding streets.

Chihuahua state and Mexican federal officials said four Cereso guards were arrested — two for allegedly committing crimes in prison, one for alleged illegal public service and one for alleged favoritism.

Two Cereso inmates also were being held as suspects in the deaths, officials said.

U.S. Very Troubled By Sudanese Violence

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Washington is very concerned about the escalation of violence in South Kordofan state in Sudan, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department said.

Washington dispatched Princeton Lyman, its U.S. special envoy for Sudan, to the region last week to press both sides to restart negotiations on border security.

South Sudan became the world’s newest independent nation July 9 as part of a comprehensive peace agreement in 2005 that ended Sudan’s civil war. Issues like oil revenue and border clashes, however, continue to threaten to undermine the agreement.

U.N. officials had said there was evidence that at least 150 bodies were discovered in the border region. The bodies bore the characteristic skin color of Nuban descent, suggesting the conflict was ethnically motivated.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington was very concerned about reports coming out of South Kordofan.

“It has been alarming, the escalation of violence there and we would urge both sides to cease all hostilities and allow for humanitarian workers to have access to some of the displaced people by the fighting there,” he said.

Satellite imagery reportedly depicts what are believed to be mass graves related to ethnic violence in South Kordofan state along the border between the two Sudans. Officials in the Sudanese government denied civilians were targeted in any attacks.

Feds Probe Death Of Golden Eagles

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 3 (UPI) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at a California wind project.

The facility under scrutiny was identified as the Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Wildlife spokeswoman Lois Grunwald declined further comment on what she described as “an ongoing law enforcement investigation regarding Pine Tree.”

To date federal wildlife authorities have not prosecuted a wind-energy company in connection with the death of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Times said.

Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology, predicted the investigation would “ruffle wind industry feathers across the country.”

“Wind farms have been killing birds for decades and law enforcement has done nothing about it,” Smallwood said.

Russian Girl, 5, Wounded By Bomb

KOMSOMOLSK-ON-AMUR, Russia, Aug. 3 (UPI) — A 5-year-old Russian girl is in danger of losing her sight after she picked up a bomb packaged like a toy, authorities say.

The girl, a kindergartner in the far eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, picked up a small homemade explosive that had a sticker with a smiley face on it, The Moscow Times reported, citing Lifenews.ru.

The victim was hospitalized with burns in her chest and eyes, the local Investigative Committee said, and Amurmedia.ru, a local news site, reported she was in surgery to save her eyesight.

An unemployed local man in his late 20s with a criminal record has been arrested, the Interfax news agency said.

Andrei Sergeyev, police chief of the Khabarovsk region, said the kindergarten’s administration had not installed fences and surveillance cameras as recommended.

FBI Probes Beating Of Homeless Man

FULLERTON, Calif., Aug. 3 (UPI) — The FBI and California authorities said they are investigating the death of a homeless man five days after a run-in with Fullerton, Calif., police officers.

Witnesses said six officers fought with Kelly Thomas, 37, a schizophrenic, and used a stun gun to subdue him July 5, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The incident sent Thomas into a coma and he died after being taken off life support.

A photo taken of Thomas at the hospital showed his face grotesquely swollen and covered with bruises and cuts.

A spokesman for Fullerton police said two officers approached Thomas at the bus depot after receiving a report of someone trying to break into parked cars.

Thomas tried to run from the officers, who found items in his backpack that didn’t belong to him, the spokesman said.

The officers called for backup when Thomas resisted.